The following is reviewed every six-months. If I have not reached the point of billing for work before the next six-monthly review, I will honour the fixed fee (if applicable) which applied at the time when you instructed us.
Please note that the fees indicated below are not subject to Value Added Tax (Vat). At present, this Firm has not applied to register for Vat: I will keep you informed of my Vat status and of any change to my fees due to Vat registration.
NB Where I have indicated fixed fees, these are not “agreed fees”: an agreed fee is one which is payable in full whether or not a transaction is completed. Generally I will not bill Clients until documents which I have been instructed to prepare are executed (eg Wills, Trusts, LPAs) or between exchange of contracts and completion in property transactions. However, this does not prevent us from offering to charge an agreed fee.
Expenses are not included in any of the fixed fees shown and some expenses, such as search fees, are incurred whether or not a transaction is completed and cannot be recovered in the event that the transaction is abandoned.
Please see my terms of business regarding occasions when I may charge a lower fee or a proportion of a fixed fee and generally concerning interim bills.
Home Visits: £20 – and mileage at 45p per mile for visits more than 5-miles from my office – in addition to fixed fee shown below (with effect from 1st January 2017):-
- £125 for one person
- £175 for a Couple
Discretionary Trust/Inheritance Tax Planning and Complex Wills
- £350 for one person
- £475 for a Couple
Fixed fee Freehold Residential Conveyancing:
Acting on sale of the whole of a residential property up to £225,000: Fee £595, plus expenses. On purchase, £695, plus expenses.
Expenses, or payments which I have to make to others and will normally ask you to pay up front, change and depend upon the price and position of the property. These include Bank Transfer fees (in purchases), searches and Land Registry fees and I will give you full details at or as soon as possible after our first meeting.
On the purchase or re-mortgage of a residential property in Wrexham or Denbighshire at a price of up to £200,000, I recommend that you budget for Bank Transfer fees (in purchases), Searches and Land Registry fees of between £350-£450 – the Land Registry’s fee will be lower for lower-value transactions.
Stamp Duty Land Tax is payable on all residential property when the price is more than £125,000 and on the full price of all buy-to-let or additional properties. From 1st April 2015, this is a graduated tax: the rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax starts at 2% on that part of the price between £125,001 and £250,000: a rate of 5% applies on the next £675,000, with the rate rising to 10% above £925,000 and 12% above 1.5 £million. In the case of buy-to-let or additional properties the rate is 3% up to £125,000 and higher rates apply from that point.
On sales or purchases above £225,000 but less than £500,000: Fee £850, plus expenses.
Sales and purchases above £500,000 are charged at 0.5%, plus expenses and the fixed fee shown in connection with any mortgage.
In other freehold transactions than a sale or purchase of the whole of a property, an hourly rate of £145 plus expenses applies.
In property transactions, home insurance, Mortgage application fees and survey fees are not included in any estimate of expenses, as in most cases the application or instruction for survey will not be made through or given by us. In Probate or Estate Administration cases, however, I will instruct Valuers to carry out valuations and valuation fees will be treated as additional expenses.
3. Lasting Powers of Attorney:
£350, plus registration fee payable to Office of the Public Guardian (currently £82) for one person; £475, plus registration fee (currently £82 per person) for a Couple
4. Probate and Estate Administration:
Level 1: Guidance – initial interview and advice on dealing with an estate – £150
Level 2: Guidance Plus – as Level 1 and advice and explanation of a Will or the Intestacy Rules (where there is no Will) – £350
Level 3A: Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration (non-Tax, UK assets and domicile, undisputed cases only) – Level 2 advice, Will-explanation/Intestacy explanation and may include all of investigation of assets, preparation and explanation of Inheritance Tax Return (short form) IHT 205 and Oath for swearing by Personal Representatives, applying for and receiving the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration – £995, plus Valuation fees, Commissioners’ (swearing) fees and Probate Registry fees.
Level 3B: Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration (Tax cases): advice and other work as for Level 3 but in cases when a full form of Inheritance Tax Return IHT 400 and schedules have to be completed – £1,795, plus Valuation fees, Commissioners’ fees and Probate Registry fees.
Level 4: Complete Estate Administration (non-tax etc cases as above only) – as for Level 3A and getting in the estate, paying funeral and other estate expenses, paying legacies (if any), preparing estate accounts for the Personal Representatives’ approval and distributing the residue of the estate – £1,995, plus Valuation fees, Commissioners’ fees and Probate Registry fees.
Level 4B: Complete Estate Administration (Tax cases not exceeding a value of £450,000) – as for Level 4 but in cases when a full form of Inheritance Tax Return and schedules have to be completed – £2,995, plus Valuation fees, Commissioners’ fees and Probate Registry fees.
Level 5: Higher value/Complex/Disputed cases – higher value (exceeding £450,000), Complex Tax (for instance, involving offshore or foreign assets, Trust interests or a large portfolio of shares/investments) and cases involving Disputes, Ambiguous Wills or Missing Beneficiaries – these may not fit easily into the above fixed fee regime and we reserve the right to
charge at an hourly rate of £175 and a “value element” in accordance with the Law Society’s Costs Guidelines applying from time to time – this is a percentage of the estate, normally 1% of the estate (excluding the value of any residence) in a case when we act for Executors or other Personal Representatives, or 1.5% of the estate (excluding any residence) when we are the Executors. Clients may also ask us to charge on the basis of the hourly rate instead of a fixed fee.
Note: in Level 3, 4 and 5 cases, we will advise Personal Representatives of their statutory right to advertise for creditors and other persons claiming an interest in the estate. The cost of the advertisements charged by the advertisers is usually around £190. If we are instructed to advertise for the Personal Representatives, we will also charge £85
Q Why do you charge extra for home visits?
A In most cases it will be convenient for Clients to visit and instruct us at this office. However, there will be occasions when this is not possible or when I will need to visit other places, for instance to carry out site inspections in some property transactions. Time spent away from the office is lost by other Clients, which has to be made up at other times: it is only fair to recognise this by a modest charge.
Q Why are some fees fixed and others based on an hourly rate and why do you charge separately for mortgages?
A In order to provide a charging structure which I hope will make my services affordable and accessible during uncertain economic times, in a number of cases I have decided to offer fixed fees which are lower than my charges would have been if calculated at an hourly rate.
Q When will you ask me to pay for out-of-pocket expenses and legal fees?
A In all cases, I will ask you to pay money on account of any out-of-pocket expenses which I have to incur, such as search fees, before I incur the expense and I will use the money paid (or as much of it as is needed) for those expenses.
As to my own charges (fees), in Conveyancing cases to which a fixed fee applies, I will usually ask you to pay us after exchange of contracts, either:- – just before completion of a purchase; or
– on completion, in the case of a sale: I will retain an amount equal to my fees, any expenses which are outstanding or which have still to be incurred from the net proceeds of sale and send a completion statement (setting out such expenses) and bill at the same time as accounting to you for the balance sale monies.
In non-fixed fee transactions, assuming the matter does not become drawn-out or complex I will normally follow the same principle of billing when the transaction is, or is about to be, completed.
However, in urgent, complex or high-value cases where a fixed-fee does not apply, I may decide to bill you before this, or at intervals: this is because such cases can involve intensive work to the exclusion of other Clients’ cases and interim billing is both useful to you as a means of keeping track of the cost and assists with our cash-flow.
In fixed-fee Estate administration cases, I will usually send an interim bill of half of the fixed fee after a Grant of Representation has been issued by the Probate Registry and the remaining half when the estate is wound up (paid out to Beneficiaries or Creditors). If my instructions are limited to obtaining the Grant of Representation, all of my fees will be charged once I have the Grant.
In non-fixed fee Estate or Probate cases (urgent, high-value or complex), I may bill at more frequent intervals. The intervals can be as often as monthly.
In fixed fee Private Client cases limited to giving advice or taking other steps short of obtaining Probate, generally I will bill you when I have carried out your instructions.
Q What happens if I am selling a property and am unable to proceed or the Buyer withdraws or if I am buying and the Seller or I decide not to go ahead with the sale/purchase?
A If a fixed fee applies to a property transaction and either party to the transaction withdraws before exchange of contracts or if the transaction does not proceed to an exchange of contracts within six months after I am first instructed/notified of an intended sale and circumstances suggest that the matter is no longer proceeding, I may (at our discretion) choose to issue a bill to you for up to half of the fixed fee and all (if any) outstanding expenses relating to the case. In the event that the transaction or (in a sale) a substantially similar transaction involving the same property is completed within 12-months after the date of our bill, I would only charge the balance of my original fixed fee, any further expenses incurred or which will inevitably be incurred (such as Stamp Duty Land Tax or Land Registry fees).
I have to be able to do this, because of the possibility that transactions fade away without reaching the point of exchange of contracts and without anyone informing us.
The above is by way of guidance only. There may be circumstances in which I have to revisit the basis or timing of my charges, such as if (through no fault of mine) the type or amount of work involved in a case changes so significantly that I am entitled to treat the additional work as separate instructions.
I act for A, who is selling a house to B. It emerges that the house drains through land owned by C without the right to do so. B insists that A obtains a drainage easement (right) from C, otherwise B will withdraw from the purchase. It is appropriate for us to treat the grant of an easement by C to A as a separate transaction from the sale to B, not merely as part of the same transaction covered by one fixed fee.
You are entitled to expect that I will bring to your attention any circumstances justifying a change and let you know of the effect upon the cost of your case as soon as reasonably possible.
At the start of your case or as soon as possible after you first instruct us, I will assess the case on the basis of the information which you have given us and agree with you what you wish us to do. In the course of this and to help you decide how much work you wish us to do, I will give you information about the likely out-of-pocket expenses and either indicate a fixed fee appropriate to your instructions or, where this is not suitable, details of my charging rate and an initial estimate of the likely final cost.
In non-fixed fee cases, I will review the estimated overall cost of the case each time I raise an interim bill.